There are few things that have captured my interest for a long period of time and even less that I have enjoyed for my entire life. That list includes books, cooking, crafting, dogs, and my family. My only other enduring love is all things new or at least new to me (If I haven't learned something new I feel my day was wasted). So imagine how I felt about a new knitting book with techniques I haven't tried yet. My monitor is fogging up a little just thinking about it.
Friday UPS delivered "Knitting Never Felt Better" by Nicky Epstien and I couldn't get it out of the box fast enough. I was not disappointed. I love her books because they give you building blocks for your own projects and creativity and they have great photos to back up her descriptions. I always have a million new ideas as I browse the pages and end up with post-it flags and sticky notes poking out of the pages on all sides.
The book starts with a chapter on the basics of felting focusing on how to felt in your washing machine. She also includes a list of yarns that felt well and shows before and after samples of a number of different yarns. Simple idea but such useful information.
The next chapter is titled dimensional felting and is the most exciting to me. There are samples and projects using quite a few shibori style techniques and some dimensional stitch patterns. I'm really intrigued by shibori and want to try the angel puff scarf as my first project from the book. I lay awake half the night dreaming up different things I could use to felt around. The possibilities for shape and texture are endless.
The next three chapters all offer some useful information but did not have my creative juices flowing quite as fast. Chapter 3 is almost entirely samples of different stitch patterns before and after felting. Everything from cables, to mosaics, to lace is included. Chapter 4 is a gathering of all the things that didn't fit in any of the other chapters. It covers intarsia, embroidery, yarn combinations, and duplicate stitch to name a few. Chapter 5 is titled appliques, cords, and bag handles and that's exactly what it covers.
I got excited again about Chapter 6. It's covers cutting felt made from your own knitting and old sweaters. There are some fun projects in this chapter and lots of great ideas. I like the idea that I can try felted projects and if they don't turn out exactly as I want I can always just cut them up and make something else out of them.
The last chapter is sculptural felting and is mostly made up of felted fruits and vegetables. Not really my cup of tea but interesting to look at and that kind of thing seems to be really popular right now.
The remainder of the book is techniques, templates, acknowledgments, and resources.
I know I will get a lot of use and enjoyment from this book and am happy to add it to my knitting library. Well worth the price and the space on the shelf.